Here are four takeaways from the Blackhawks' 6-2 win over the Edmonton Oilers at Rogers Place on Tuesday:
1. Special teams-filled first period
The Blackhawks and Oilers had a busy first 20 minutes. They combined for six penalties, which led to a whole lot of action, particularly during the latter stages of the period.
Erik Gustafsson scored on the power play — his third goal in two games after going scoreless in his previous 15 — to give the Blackhawks a 1-0 lead just 1:55 into the game. The road team was in total control.
But in the final four minutes, the Blackhawks committed four minor penalties and handed the Oilers several man advantages, including a 5-on-3 opportunity. Leon Draisaitl converted on two of the power plays, both of which were assisted by Connor McDavid, as the Oilers went into the intermission with a 2-1 lead. They had outshot the Blackhawks 12-1 over that multiple power-play span.
2. Third period explosion
After a dull second period, the Blackhawks absolutely erupted in the third period. And the Oilers completely unraveled.
The Blackhawks scored five consecutive goals, including three in a 2:10 span, to put themselves up 6-2 before Edmonton even knew what hit them. John Hayden, Dylan Strome, Patrick Kane, Drake Caggiula and Dominik Kahun all got in on the action for the Blackhawks, who outshot the Oilers 14-4 in the final 20 minutes.
Going into Tuesday, the Blackhawks had only two wins in 24 tries when leading after two periods for a win percentage of .083, which ranked sixth-worst. They also handed the Oilers just their second regulation loss when leading after two periods this season after going 12-1-3 in their previous 16 occurrences.
In total, the Blackhawks had 22 shot attempts (14 on goal), 11 scoring chances and six high-danger chances, according the naturalstattrick. The Oilers had 12 attempts (four on goal), five scoring chances and one high-danger chance.
It's only the third time this season the Blackhawks did not allow a goal at even strength. Both of the Oilers' tallies came on the power play.
3. Four-line rotation
Perhaps the best part of this Blackhawks offensive outburst is that it came from everyone. All 12 forwards got on the scoresheet, except for David Kampf who left in the second period with a right foot injury.
The fourth line was particularly strong. The trio of Hayden, Chris Kunitz and Marcus Kruger drew a penalty in the first period that led to a Blackhawks power-play goal, and Hayden's goal is the one that started the offensive explosion.
The Blackhawks have been top heavy all season long, so it's certainly encouraging to see all four lines chip in on offense. It's the third time in five games the team has scored at least six goals during their winning streak. That'll work.
4. Erie Otters reunion
On Monday night, there was an Erie Otters reunion in Edmonton before the actual game on Tuesday as former linemates Alex DeBrincat, Connor McDavid and Dylan Strome all grabbed dinner together to catch up.
The trio put up ridiculous numbers together in the OHL. Strome is the Otters' all-time leading points scorer at 354, DeBrincat is second at 332 and McDavid is fourth at 285.
"They're probably two of the closest guys I've ever seen," McDavid told reporters before the game on the relationship of DeBrincat and Strome. "They love each other off the ice. They love to play with each other on the ice. It's a connection that they both really like."
DeBrincat registered an assist against the Oilers to extend his point streak to six games. Strome scored his fourth goal in six games. And McDavid recorded a pair of primary assists. It was a productive night for the former Erie trio.